FARGO MOORHEAD SERTOMA HISTORY
Sertoma International is a volunteer civic service organization with 835 Clubs in the United States, Canada and Mexico and a membership of over 27,000 professional men and women. Sertoma stands for the high and noble SERvice TO MAnkind through communication of thoughts, ideas and concepts to accelerate human progress in health, education, freedom and democracy.
The Fargo-Moorhead Sertoma club was formed in the spring of 1957 by a man named H. C. Pearson. He was employed by Sertoma International to help start clubs in the US. The Club had its "Charter Banquet" on Friday June 7, 1957 with 101 members. There are still 7 active "charter members" in our club. The FM Sertoma club is part of the North Dakota/Manitoba district of Sertoma International, as well as the Great Plains Region. Sertoma International has 15 regions in the US and there are 5 states in our region. They are North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska. Each club has a president, 2 or 3 Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer and a Sergeant-at-Arms. The Sertoma year runs from July 1st to June 30th.
Our Clubs sponsor projects that promote freedom and democracy, youth causes, and any other local community needs identified by Clubs. Sertoman's hold fund raisers to support these service programs. Each year, Sertoma Clubs raise and return more than $20 million for community projects. Founded as the "Stand Together Club" in 1912 in Kansas City, Missouri, Sertoma is the third-oldest service organization. Our name was changed to "Cooperative" Clubs, and finally to "Sertoma" in 1950. Our motto is "Make Life Worthwhile."
The first non-US Sertoma Club was chartered in Windsor, Ontario in 1946. The first Mexico Club was chartered in Mexico City in 1956. The Sertoma Foundation was founded in 1960 to raise money for Sertoma's charitable programs. The Foundation's Endowment has more than $10 million today. Women, who were welcomed as members of Sertoma in 1985, comprise about one-third of our current membership.
The highest honor Sertoma bestows on a nonmember is the Service to Mankind Award recognizing outstanding volunteer community service. Each Club selects a winner, who competes with other Clubs' winners at the District, Regional and International levels. The top winner is announced at the International Convention. The award culminates in a trip to the winner's national capital, for a visit with the President or Prime Minister.